Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez confirmed Sunday (31 May) he would request a sixth and final 15-day extension of the state of emergency, which came into effect on 14 March, until 21 June.
As the government defends the measure as the only way to ensure the process remains orderly, it is expected to be passed by lawmakers this week with the support of Basque party PNV. The left-wing Catalan party ERC has agreed to abstain.
The central government will hand control of the de-escalation process to regional authorities once these progress to the third phase of the four-stage removal of restrictions.
“We will need a final and definitive 15-day extension of the state of alarm,” the leader of the Socialist Party (PSOE) said in a televised address, adding that “we need it in order to finish the work we have all done.”
While the majority of Spain is currently in the second phase of lifting lockdown measures, hotspots like Madrid and Barcelona remain in phase one.
A region must remain on a given phase for at least two weeks before it can request progressing to the next stage. (EuroEFE.EURACTIV.es)